Tending the Crops: Believers Gather to Discuss Deepening Orthodoxy’s Roots in the South

Source: Photini at the Well

By Amanda Goins

September 16, 2023

Photo: sourthernorthodox.org Photo: sourthernorthodox.org     

I recently joined travelers from near and far gathering in Tobaccoville, NC, to attend the Ludwell Orthodox Fellowship’s Inaugural Conference. The Fellowship welcomed 125 attendees from 10 states, and the UK, to the sold-out event with Southern charm. It brought together Christians from varied traditions and jurisdictions. Speakers, both clergy and laity, covered an array of topics with the common theme of the South’s deep-rooted remembrance of traditionalism. Southerners have a long-held sacramental vision of life and Orthodox Christianity can bring about the fulfillment of this vision with sacramental religion.

The seeds of Orthodoxy have been planted in the South and the fruits have been ripening beautifully. However, it is important that these fruits are tended with care to bring about the most bountiful harvest. This is the purpose of the Philip Ludwell III Orthodox Fellowship – to nurture the roots of Orthodoxy in Dixie’s Land. The organization launched in 2021 with a mission of fostering the “enculturation of the Orthodox faith into the South’s unique ethos and ‘older religiousness.’”

The fellowship’s namesake, Philip Ludwell III, was the first-known Orthodox convert in North America. Ludwell was immersed in cultural affairs during the founding of our country, including helping to commission a young George Washington as a colonel in the Virginia militia. He also translated a number of Orthodox texts into English and his translation of Peter Mogila’s Confession was blessed by the Holy Synod of Russia. The fellowship states that “all Orthodox Southerners are the spiritual descendants of Philip Ludwell III.”

The event was Pan-Orthodox, drawing attendees from varied jurisdictions such as ROCOR, OCA, Antiochian, Greek, and Serbian Orthodox. Also in attendance were several Byzantine Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox catechumens and inquirers, all eager to “Come and See” the complementary relationship between Orthodox Christianity and the South.

Read the rest at Photini at the Well.

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